The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is a multi-agency collaboration that provides funding to federal agencies that work to protect and restore the Great Lakes. Both United States and Canadian agencies have been the recipients of GLRI funding across a broad scope of projects.
The GLRI Action Plan III for fiscal years 2020-2024 focuses on five important categories:
- Spreading the word about the wonders and value of Great Lakes coastal wetlands to the public can help to inspire popular support for conservation projects related to wetland protection and restoration.
- The Great Lakes Coastal Assembly also supports higher education opportunities for science students who plan to begin a career in wetland biology and/or conservation.
- Grants and other funding opportunities are the foundation for creating projects that benefit coastal wetland ecosystems.
- The Coastal Assembly supports the continuation of existing grants and funding, and the development of new opportunities for investments in the future of coastal wetlands and the people that care for them.
- Evidence for economic and social benefits provided by Great Lakes coastal wetlands can be an important driver of investments
- Documenting this vital connection supports the decision to protect or restore wetlands to their original function
- Monitoring the status and trends of habitats and species is critical to informing conservation decisions and allocating resources.
- The Coastal Assembly endorses the need for science-based monitoring for status and trends that can validate actions that will improve native species populations and provide for sustainable habitats for future growth.
- The Coastal Assembly promotes the conservation, restoration and management of Great Lakes coastal wetland habitats with an emphasis on supporting self-sustaining populations of diverse native species.
- This strategy includes active management to ensure that habitats and ecosystems are functioning well enough to meet the needs of native species.
Many of our coastal wetlands have been permanently lost. But how are we doing with protecting what we have? Reporting the percentage of Great Lakes coastal wetlands that are protected can help focus efforts to preserve them where they are most needed.
This metric shows the percentage of wetlands protected at a glance, to highlight progress to-date and where we can do more.
The Governments of Canada and the United States are pleased to release the 2019 State of the Great Lakes Highlights Report, which provides an overview of the status and trends of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Overall, Great Lakes water quality is assessed as “fair and unchanging.” While progress to restore and protect the Great Lakes has occurred, including the reduction of toxic chemicals, challenges cited in the report include invasive species and excess nutrients that contribute to toxic and nuisance algae.
Welcome to the Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands online explorer, provided by Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI). Through a binational collaborative project between Canada and the United States, the team has been working to better measure and map coastal wetland features and hydrologic changes through time at fine resolution. Several remote sensing derived products have been developed for monitoring wetland type, extent and inundation of Great Lakes coastal wetlands.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Wetland Program Development Grants (WPDGs) assist in the building of programs to protect, manage and restore wetlands. WPDGs provide eligible applicants an opportunity to conduct projects that promote the coordination and acceleration of research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys and studies relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction and elimination of water pollution.
The Great Lakes Coastal Program provides funding and technical assistance to partners for conservation and restoration of priority coastal fish and wildlife habitats, including wetlands, shorelines, uplands, rivers, and streams. Projects should fit into one of the following categories:
Habitat Restoration: Projects that support on-the-ground protection, enhancement or restoration of wetland and upland habitat used by focal species. Education and outreach components of these projects may also be supported.
The mission of Sustain Our Great Lakes (SOGL) is to sustain, restore and protect fish, wildlife, and habitat in the Great Lakes basin by leveraging funding, building conservation capacity, and focusing partners and resources toward key ecological issues. Administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the program receives funding and other support from ArcelorMittal, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The Standard Grants Program is a competitive, matching grants program that supports public-private partnerships carrying out projects in Canada, the United States, and Mexico that further the goals of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. These projects must involve long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and associated uplands habitats. In Mexico, projects may also include technical training, environmental education and outreach, organizational infrastructure development, and sustainable-use studies.
The Small Grants Program is a competitive, matching grants program that supports public-private partnerships carrying out projects in the United States that further the goals of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. These projects must involve long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and associated uplands habitats for the benefit of all wetlands-associated migratory birds.
The Small Grants Program funds projects that are too small to be competitive for the Standard Grants Program.
Coastal wetlands are valued, in part, because they protect against flooding, help maintain water quality, and provide habitat for wildlife. Coastal environments are also important economically, generating billions of dollars annually through industries such as commercial fishing and tourism. The National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant (NCWCG) Program provides States with financial assistance to protect and restore these valuable resources. Projects can include:
The Minnesota DNR's Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) Grant Program funds activities related to the enhancement, restoration, or protection of forests, wetlands, prairies, and habitat for fish, game, or wildlife in Minnesota. Funding for these grants is provided by the Outdoor Heritage Fund.
The Michigan Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program provides grant funds to coastal communities and partners to assist in the development of vibrant and resilient coastal communities through the protection and restoration of sensitive coastal resources and biologically diverse ecosystems.
The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) funds research projects related to the use, development, and conservation of Lake Michigan coastal resources in Illinois and Indiana.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funds projects to protect, restore, and enhance Great Lakes fish and wildlife habitat under the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act.